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Overview of Psychoanalytic History and Theory

October 1, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 8:00 pm on Monday, happening 8 times

Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (APP)
2018-19, 1st Block — Mondays, 8:00-9:15pm
Scot Gibson, MD

View Syllabus

Melanie Klein and Object Relations

“Kleinian Theory” from The Freud Encyclopedia: Theory, Therapy, and Culture, Edward Erwin, editor. Routledge, New York and London, 2002.

Auchincloss, E., The Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind, Ch11, “Object Relations Theory.” American Psychiatric Publishing, 2015.

These two reference articles should give you a good overview of the salient points of Kleinian (and others’) object relations theory. The article from The Freud Encyclopediagives an overview of Melanie Klein’s theory, while the Auchincloss goes into other theorists’ elaborations of object relations theories. (The Meltzer chapter below, though, should help you understand why it is important.)

Meltzer, D. Ch3, Dream-Life, “The Klein-Bion Expansion of Freud’s Metapsychology.” Karnac, 1984/2009.

Meltzer is a wonderful, passionate, and very direct writer, and in this short passage he walks the reader from Freud, through Klein, and into the ideas of Klein’s successor Wilfred Bion. As he does so, he make it clear why the Kleinian revolution was necessary, and the crucial change in emphasis that her and her successor’s ideas brought to psychoanalysis. This chapter was one of the most important texts that I read as I was becoming a psychoanalyst, and reading it gave me an “aha” moment about object relations that helped me understand that theory like nothing else ever did.

Optional Reading

Clarkin, J.F.; Yeomans, F.E.; and Kernberg, O.F. Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality: Focusing on Object Relations, excerpt from Ch1 “The Nature of Borderline Personality Organization.” pp1-17., 1999

Otto Kernberg, who has been writing since the 1960s to the present day, is a great synthesizer. He has created a particular take on psychoanalytic theory which is an attempt to bridge ego psychology and object relations theories. He has been very influential especially in America, as the Psychoanalytic Diagnostic Manual (PDM), which was created in part to counter the reductionist methods and philosophy of the psychiatric DSM, is based largely on his theoretical system. His Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TPP) is a psychoanalytically-based, manualized therapy for borderline personality disorder which has been shown to be superior to other treatments (including dialectical behavior therapy) in several ways. I think of him as one of the last, and one of the most useful, of the classical “old-guard” psychoanalytic thinkers.


October 1, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:15 pm


(206) 328-5315


4020 E Madison St, #230
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(206) 328-5315